Rayleigh-Taylor mixing: Direct numerical simulation and implicit large eddy simulation

David L. Youngs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research into three-dimensional numerical simulation of self-similar mixing due to Rayleigh-Taylor instability is summarized. A range of numerical approaches has been used: direct numerical simulation, implicit large eddy simulation and large eddy simulation with an explicit model for sub-grid-scale dissipation. However, few papers have made direct comparisons between the various approaches. The main purpose of the current paper is to give comparisons of direct numerical simulations and implicit large eddy simulations using the same computational framework. Results are shown for four test cases: (i) single-mode Rayleigh-Taylor instability, (ii) self-similar Rayleigh-Taylor mixing, (iii) three-layer mixing and (iv) a tilted-rig Rayleigh-Taylor experiment. It is found that both approaches give similar results for the high-Reynolds number behavior. Direct numerical simulation is needed to assess the influence of finite Reynolds number.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074006
Number of pages14
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2017


  • direct numerical simulation
  • implicit large eddy simulation
  • Rayleigh Taylor instability


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